Food fortification as a complementary strategy for the elimination of micronutrient deficiencies: case studies of large scale food fortification in two Indian States


The burden of micronutrient malnutrition is very high in India. Food fortification is one of the most cost-effective and sustainable strategies to deliver micronutrients to large population groups. Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is supporting large-scale, voluntary, staple food fortification in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh because of the high burden of malnutrition, availability of industries capable of and willing to introduce fortified staples, consumption patterns of target foods and a conducive and enabling environment. High extraction wheat flour from roller flour mills, edible soybean oil and milk from dairy cooperatives were chosen as the vehicles for fortification. Micronutrients and levels of fortification were selected based on vehicle characteristics and consumption levels. Industry recruitment was done after a careful assessment of capability and willingness.

Production units were equipped with necessary equipment for fortification. Staffs were trained in fortification and quality control. Social marketing and communication activities were carried out as per the strategy developed. A state food fortification alliance was formed in Madhya Pradesh with all relevant stakeholders. Over 260,000 MT of edible oil, 300,000 MT of wheat flour and 500,000 MT of milk are being fortified annually and marketed. Rajasthan is also distributing 840,000 MT of fortified wheat flour annually through its Public Distribution System and 1.1 million fortified Mid-day meals daily through the centralised kitchens. Concurrent monitoring in Rajasthan and Madhya has demonstrated high compliance with all quality standards in fortified foods.

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